Four-legged lawmen

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017

JACKSON – The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office welcomes a new officer, but it appears he doesn’t shave and prefers to track down criminals using four legs instead of two.

As of June 1, patrol officer K-9 “Blitz” joined the NCSO. Blitz is a full patrol dog, trained in bomb detection tracking and criminal apprehension.

“Blitz” is the newest member of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. He is shown here with his handler, Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Worrell. | Contributed Photos

K-9 handler Deputy Timothy Worrell with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office is assigned as the K-9 handler. He and Blitz attended training at American K-9 Interdiction in Carrsville, VA, completing the course on June 1.

“The addition of K-9 Blitz to the daily patrol is a significant benefit to the efficiency of patrol units in responding to numerous calls. It is a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office and to the citizens of Northampton County,” said Northampton Sheriff’s Captain Patrick Jacobs.

Additionally, Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith announced that his department’s other K-9 officer – “Tommy” – will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

K-9 Tommy is partnered up with Northampton Deputy C. Hamm on daily patrol. Tommy is a two-year-old Dutch Shepherd. He is a full patrol dog, trained in narcotics detection tracking and criminal apprehension. Deputy Hamm and Tommy attended K9 training at Ventosa Kennels in Scotland Neck, with training completion in September 2016.

Smith said that K9 Tommy’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of Tommy Rudowicz, to protect this K9 hero”. Delivery of the vest is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers.

Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $2.1 million.

RIGHT: K-9 Tommy of the Northampton Sheriff’s Office will soon receive body armor thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 pounds.

There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.